The ’90s TV show “Friends” had pretty much everything you could want from a feel-good sitcom — love stories, hilarious plotlines, and, of course, a cast of endearing characters. The six friends at the heart of the show were relatable, sweet, and loyal to one another. In fact, watching the show, viewers likely found it easy to feel like they were your friends, too.
Two friends in particular stood out as having an especially close bond: Monica and Rachel. These two BFFs were old high school besties who had drifted apart before colliding back together at the start of the series. Monica took Rachel under her wing and welcomed her into her apartment as a roommate, quickly helping Rachel become a part of the crew. Over the course of the show’s 10 seasons, the pair got closer and closer. Although they had their arguments, these two pals showed us just how special a best friend can be. Here is the truth about the relationship between Rachel and Monica on “Friends.”
Despite years apart, Monica and Rachel quickly resumed their friendship
In the flashback episodes of “Friends,” we get to see just how close Monica and Rachel were in high school. The pair clearly did everything together, with Rachel spending Thanksgiving at Monica’s house and them even going to prom together.
Even though these two were practically joined at the hip throughout high school, it’s pretty clear that Rachel hadn’t seen Monica in years at the beginning of the show. She’d never met Monica’s friends, and she clearly hadn’t seen Ross since high school. After she ran away from her wedding and found Monica at Central Perk, Rachel told Monica, “I know that you and I have kind of drifted apart, but you’re the only person I knew who lived here in the city.” To which, Monica added, “Who wasn’t invited to the wedding.” Yikes.
It’s always awkward when old friends drift apart. However, aside from this brief interaction in the first episode, Rachel and Monica never really mention their time apart again. Instead, they quickly fall right back into being best friends. We’ll probably never know why these two lost touch, but one thing’s clear — their bond was strong enough for them to move past it and pick up right where they left off.
It's amazing that Rachel and Monica made good roommates
As anyone who has lived with a friend before knows, it can be tricky finding a roommate who is a good fit. Not only do you have to get along as friends, but you also have to share similar habits and cleaning standards. Given how super neat and organized Monica is, it’s kind of amazing that she and Rachel managed to live together for so many years as roommates.
Of course, there were a few hints over the course of the show that things were not always perfect between these two roomies. When Rachel moved in with Joey, she accidentally dropped some pasta on the floor, and she immediately panicked, saying, “Oh, that’s going to leave a stain.” Joey nonchalantly replied, “It’s fine. You’re at Joey’s,” and he dropped some of his own food on the floor. Clearly, this was a big change for Rachel after living with Monica, who would have certainly hated carpet stains.
It’s safe to say that Monica was often annoyed with Rachel’s untidy habits, though Monica may have also enjoyed being responsible for everything. She’s a bit of a control freak, after all.
Monica and Rachel were pretty conniving
It takes true best friends to come up with a cunning plan, and Rachel and Monica could always be relied upon to do just that. Yes, these two could be pretty conniving. Over the years, they came up with tons of schemes. For instance, in “The One With All the Thanksgivings,” the pair plotted together to get revenge on Chandler after he insulted Monica the year before. Rachel helped Monica come up with a plan to seduce Chandler and then embarrass him. Of course, this plan didn’t exactly work out in the end since Monica dropped a knife on Chandler’s toe, sending him to the ER.
Another conniving plan came in Season 3 when Rachel and Monica babysat Ross’ son, Ben. When Monica accidentally bumped Ben’s head, the pair came up with a plan to hide his bump with a hat from a stuffed animal. Again, this plan didn’t exactly turn out as planned, as Ross caught on pretty quickly.
While these two certainly knew how to cook up a plan, they clearly didn’t always know how to execute it.
They both proved that tough love is something a BFF does best
Sometimes being a best friend is about more than telling the other person what they want to hear. Sometimes a best friend has to give some tough love. Luckily, Monica always knew how to do what was best for her best friend.
When Rachel got an eye infection, for instance, Monica was there to try to make sure that Rachel used her eye drops, which wasn’t an easy task considering the fact that Rachel hated anything getting too close to her eyes. Like a true best friend, Monica held her down and gave her best effort to get those eye drops in!
Then, when Rachel started to have feelings for ex-boyfriend Ross, Monica, who had been officially enlisted as Rachel’s relationship guru earlier in the episode, confronted her friend, saying, “I’m calling the shots. … I make the decisions and I say, ‘No.'” Monica knew that Rachel would only get hurt if she pursued Ross again. It’s clear that Monica was always there for Rachel — even when Rachel didn’t want her to be!
They sometimes left Phoebe out
Like all best friends, Rachel and Monica could sometimes be a little shortsighted when it came to their other friends. After all, these two lived together and had a ton of history. Unfortunately, this meant that, every now and then, their other bestie, Phoebe, was a little left out. Phoebe, after all, had fewer connections to Monica and Rachel and the rest of the group. As Rachel once callously said, “It was just a matter of time before someone had to leave the group. I just always assumed Phoebe would be the one to go.” She went on to explain, “You live far away, you’re not related, you lift right out.”
It’s clear that Phoebe often felt a little excluded. When the rest of the group came back from London, she was annoyed not to be included in their jokes. When Rachel asked to move in with Phoebe, Phoebe had to remind her that she already had a roommate, Denise, and had talked about her “all the time.” She later added that “no one ever listens to anything I say.” Poor Phoebe! It’s hard being a third wheel in a strong friendship.
Their fight when Rachel had to move out was so relatable
One of the most iconic moments in their friendship came when Monica asked Rachel to move out so that Chandler could move in. Rachel, who was in denial about having to move, failed to pack until the last minute. When they finally started packing, Phoebe suggested they list things they won’t miss about living with each other so they wouldn’t get too sad.
Things quickly escalated, and Rachel and Monica had a huge fight. They argued about all of the ways the other was a bad roommate. After hearing how mean the girls got, Phoebe said she doesn’t want to live with Rachel anymore. So then, Monica listed all of the great things about Rachel, saying she’d leave her messages on the bathroom mirror and cover her with a blanket whenever she fell asleep on the sofa. “Now you have to leave,” Monica said through tears, “and I have to live with a boy!”
It’s clear that Rachel and Monica absolutely loved living together, even if they had their little spats. Plus, the way these two went from bickering to hugging in just a few minutes showed that they really are #friendshipgoals.
They are always doing each other favors
Good friends know that it’s important to do little (or big) things for each other. Rachel and Monica were always willing to go the extra mile for the other one. In Season 1, Monica helped Rachel get medical help by letting her use her insurance — and insurance fraud is obviously a pretty big favor!
In another episode, Monica reconnected with an old high school classmate — who just happened to date Rachel back in the day. Even though Rachel felt a little hurt by the situation, she supported Monica and encouraged her to go on a date with him. Rachel also helped Monica out by waitressing for her when she was trying to impress a potential restaurant owner. Even though the evening didn’t exactly go to plan, Rachel was 100% there for her friend. As the theme song goes, “I’ll be there for you.” And these two friends were always, always there for each other!
Monica always supported Rachel dating her brother
When it came to men, Rachel and Monica never stood in each other’s way — even when Rachel started dating Ross, Monica’s big brother. In fact, Monica was always super supportive of Rachel throughout her relationship with Ross. After Rachel and Ross kissed for the first time, Rachel naturally went to her two besties to tell them all about it. Monica was clearly thrilled, screaming, “Oh my God,” over and over again. It seemed that Monica was never worried about Rachel dating her brother — in fact, she couldn’t have been more excited.
When Rachel found Ross’ pros and cons list about her, she was devastated. While Monica didn’t take sides in their argument, she was totally there for her friend. When Ross called Monica to ask her to turn on the radio after he requested a song for Rachel, she was happy to oblige, even though it didn’t help their relationship. Still, it was clear that Monica wanted Rachel to forgive Ross. In other words, Monica was the biggest Rachel and Ross fan out there!
Rachel was the perfect maid of honor for Monica
Both Phoebe and Rachel wanted to be Monica’s maid of honor, but in “The One With the Nap Partners,” Phoebe realized that Rachel was the only person who could do the job justice.
After competing for the gig and losing, Rachel decided to give Phoebe the role of maid of honor, and she gave her a box of supplies she’d been collecting since Monica got engaged. “Here is a book of poetry that I know Monica loves,” she said. Then, she showed Phoebe old pictures of Monica dressed as a bride, a purse for the wedding rings, and the garter that Rachel planned to use for her own wedding. “I wanted it to be Monica’s something borrowed, and it’s blue,” she said through tears. Phoebe clearly saw how much being Monica’s maid of honor meant to Rachel.
It is so sweet that Rachel was so prepared — and it just goes to show that these two were the ultimate TV besties. It takes a true best friend to take on the role of maid of honor, and Rachel managed to do it perfectly for Monica’s wedding.
Monica could not have been more excited about Rachel's pregnancy
When your best friend gets pregnant, it almost feels like you’re having a baby, too. This was exactly the case for Monica and Rachel. When Rachel took the test to find out if she’s pregnant at Monica’s wedding, Monica told her, “Rachel, I want you to know that if it’s positive, we’re going to…” Although she trailed off, it was pretty clear what she was saying: She and Phoebe would be there for her to help with the baby every step of the way.
When Phoebe revealed that the test was positive, Monica was over the moon and even began to cry as she hugged her friend. When the baby arrived, Monica could not have been more in love with her niece. Monica, as usual, was totally supportive and helped Rachel through her journey into motherhood. And we have to say, it was all seriously sweet.
It was a bit awkward when Rachel stole the baby name her BFF picked out
Even though Monica was completely in love with Rachel’s baby, there was a small awkward moment just after her birth. When the gang came into Rachel’s hospital room to meet the new baby, Chandler asked what the baby’s name was. Ross explained that they were deliberating between two names. However, when Ross repeated the names, Rachel began to cry, saying that the names don’t suit their daughter. Monica told Rachel that she had always planned on calling her own daughter “Emma,” and, suddenly, Rachel knew that Emma was the name she wanted for her child.
“Take it,” Monica said, despite initially being hesitant to tell Rachel. “She’s clearly an Emma.” Rachel replied, “Oh, honey, but you love that name.” Monica responded, “Yeah, but I love you more.” It was so adorable to see just how much Monica cared about her friend — she was even willing to give up the baby name that she’d picked for her future child years ago. You really can’t beat the power of friendship!
It was heartbreaking to watch these two part ways at the end of Friends
It’s hard to imagine a world where Monica and Rachel aren’t best friends who do everything together. But, at the end of the show, both characters were preparing to go their separate ways. Monica and Chandler had bought a big house in the suburbs, and Rachel had accepted a job in Paris. While they were both happy about where they were headed, it was hard for them to say goodbye. In a touching scene in the series finale, Rachel took Monica aside. Through tears, she said, “None of the amazing things that have happened to me in the last 10 years would have happened if it wasn’t for you. No one has been more like a sister to me.” Monica replied, “I know what you mean. You’re like a sister to me, too.” The pair then broke down sobbing, barely managing to screech out a few more nice words through their tears.
While it was pretty funny to watch these two weeping uncontrollably, it was also super sad to see these two best friends saying goodbye. In fact, this was probably one of the most touching scenes in the entire show — and that was all thanks to the bond between these two friends.
The actors are even BFFs in real life
What makes this fictional friendship even cuter is the fact that actors Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox are actually BFFs in real life, too. After meeting on the set of “Friends,” Cox and Aniston quickly formed a strong bond. As Cox told TV Week (via E! News), “We just have fun, we laugh, we’re inseparable, and it’s great.” Aniston also gushed about their friendship, telling More magazine (via E! News), “She’s extremely fair, ridiculously loyal, and fiercely loving.” She added, “All I can say is she’s been there for me through thick and thin.”
The pair have remained in touch since the show ended. Cox was at Aniston’s weddings to Brad Pitt and Justin Theroux, and they apparently take lots of vacations together. When Cox got divorced, Aniston was there for her. Cox told TV Week, “Jennifer has been amazing for sure.”
In other words, these two actors are always there for each other just like their onscreen counterparts were on the show.
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